The Failure of Moral Imagination
Matthew Ygelsias nails it. Republicans only care about protecting spending which affects them or people they know.
And it’s not hypocrisy. It’s the failure of moral imagination. What it reminds me of, more than anything else, was Sarah Palin talking about her desire to protect programs for special needs children from budget cuts. Afterall, Palin has a special needs child herself. So she sympathizes with children who need extra help and the families that support them.
Anyone remember Jon Stewart catching Megyn Kelly from Fox News doing a complete 180 on maternity leave?
Before she had her baby and got months off for bonding and taking care of her needs, she would have agreed wholeheartedly with Mike Gallagher, the guy she brought (post-partum) on her show for calling maternity leave a racket – particularly her taking advantage of it. Megyn Kelly would never have advocated for things she once considered socialism because it’s government forcing companies to do something, but as soon as she got to take advantage of it and saw the benefits of that policy, she was for it.
There’s no federal program where bureaucrats stack up heaping piles of bills and light them on fire. The programs aren’t all good programs. But they do all have real beneficiaries, be they Palin’s special needs families, Grimm’s flood-damaged district, Collins’ small towners who don’t want to pay market price for mail, etc.
Not all government programs and policies are necessary, but many do a great deal of good. Sometimes they show up very vividly, such as disaster relief. Sometimes they don’t show up at all, such as helping families with special needs children, because they’re not supposed to. Some public programs are there to stave off disaster, some of it’s there to fix things after disaster strikes.